The Whole Truth (A. Shaw, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Whole Truth (A. Shaw #1)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  12,254 ratings  ·  877 reviews
"Dick, I need a war."

Nicolas Creel is a man on a mission. He heads up the world's largest defense contractor, The Ares Corporation. Dick Pender is the man Creel retains to "perception manage" his company to even more riches by manipulating international conflicts. But Creel may have an even grander plan in mind.
Shaw, a man with no first name and a truly unique past, has a...more
Paperback, 544 pages
Published March 1st 2009 by Vision (first published 2008)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This has action flick printed all over it. Scary to think that this could happen - at least the premise that PM "Perception Management" could be used to make the world believe whatever the person paying for it wants them to believe. Not so believeable: that any human could be so close to being an actual Super Hero as Shaw is but that's what makes it so action packed and fun. I. too, would like to see Baldacci bring Katie and Shaw back for more.
Baldacci's "Whole Truth" is particularly relevant right now, because it deals with the idea of "managed truth" versus "actual truth." "Managed truth" is what people in power--governments, large corporations, believe to be true, and the book explores what can happen when "manged truth" becomes more influential than real truth.

Longtime readers of Baldacci will appreciate the difference between this book and the previous ones. It has the powerful "agent type" who follows an internal code that is mo...more
May 23, 2008 Jeanne rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Heidi, Lisa, Beth
The concept of perception management in this novel introduces a concept more troublesome than spin doctors.
Rather than spinning a different slant on an actual occurrence, PM spreads a fictional , yet believeable, "truth" which awaits discovery so opinion and beliefs are created that will benefit the manufacturer of that "truth".

The statement in the beginning of the book summarizes this concept:
"Why waste time discovering the truth when you can so easily create it?"

In a world where we choose to b...more
Nicolas Creel is a man on a mission. He heads up the world's largest defense contractor, The Ares Corporation. Dick Pender is the man Creel retains to manage his company to even more riches by manipulating international conflicts. But Creel may have an even grander plan in mind. Shaw, a man with no first name and a truly unique past, has a different agenda. Reluctantly doing the bidding of a secret multi-national intelligence agency, he travels the globe to keep it safe and at peace. Willing to...more
Jim  Hassett
Once again Baldacci writes a good mystery with his usual "page turner" pace. However, this time he adds something to think about as he does a good job bringing in "perception management" as a topic. He shows how PMs could manufacture facts and then sell them to the world as truth. This is much easier today with the web (thanks Al Gore!) and little verification of facts. As Baldacci says in his Postscript, "And by using these methods, a major untruth can be established so quickly and overwhelming...more
I love David Baldacci and this was no exception. The premise of The Whole Truth involved a conspiracy to bring the U.S. back into conflict with Russia rather than focusing on the Middle East. Poses the question, which world is safer--cold war type conflict versus terrorism. It raised some interesting points, and made me feel like I was back in political science classes. Also, a good storyline and interesting characters.
James Bond meets Jason Bourne, May 13, 2008

In, The Whole Truth, Nicolas Creel, an international arms dealer slash world philanthropist, creates conflicts to fuel the demand for his products: weapons of mass destruction. When Creel targets Russia with a smear campaign, things start to get ugly.

On the flip side of the coin, to keep out of prison, Baldacci's hero, Shaw, a man with a shady past and a reluctant future, does the bidding of a multinational intelligence agency. When Shaw's fiancé is...more
I finished this book only because I started it on an airplane and couldn't find an alternative. After a few chapters it became a little interesting as a story line, but it really was very disappointing ~ especially the writing. I've never found Baldacci to be a very good writer. There's always some clumsiness in the narrative, though the dialog is usually decent and the story line suspenseful and believable. This time, however, it was very poor across the board. The characterization of Katie was...more
Kevin Rubin
The Whole Truth is in truth, a very mediocre Baldacci book… Not that he writes the best books of all, his best is only mediocre…

It's one adventure about a man mysteriously named A. Shaw, a James Bond like covert operator working for some organization that's never named. It's not clear if the organization even belongs to a country or not, or if it's international. All we know about it is his boss is named Frank Wells.

Even Shaw's fiance refers to him by his last name, Shaw, which doesn't feel at...more
Learned a new term with this one, “perception management” . The DOD even has manuals on it.It is he process of creating facts as “truth” and publishing them in as many was as possible so that they are actually perceived as true. In this case a billionaire armaments supplier is falling on hard times and is upset with all the little brushfire wars, so he hires a PM company to stir up hostilities between Russia and the world as well as with China. As the misinformation spreads and tempers flare the...more
Stuart Diaz
In this story if you have read another one of David Baldacci's books, he goes into a slightly larger realm when he includes most of the world in this amazing book. Shaw, the main character is working to repay his debt to a government official when he gets engaged to Anna Fischer. Shaw is looking to retire when things take a turn for the worse and Shaw has to re think his plans. Katie James is a reporter who has run into problems with alcohol and now is in a new low for a reporter and is desperat...more
Lígia Bibliomigalhas
Já tinha gostado de Uma Fracção de Segundo, que faz parte de uma outra série do mesmo autor, e tinha alguma expetativa em relação a este livro. Mais uma vez, tive dificuldade em entrar na história, mas, também mais uma vez, ao fim de alguns capítulos estava totalmente embrenhada. O autor mantém um ritmo digno de um filme de ação ao seu melhor nível, conjugando muito bem o enredo mais pessoal e romântico, com a parte de intriga e mistério. Atrevo-me a dizer que acabei por gostar até mais desta ob...more
I really hate it when an author wants to use a novel to make a political point but doesn't have the literary ability to make that happen without the reader feeling as though the point has been pounded home with a baseball bat.

That's the case here. Baldacci is a decent spy thriller writer. He is not an "artist," though, and for him to attempt to pull off scathing political commentary via his novels is like me trying to slam dunk a basketball while wearing heels on a freshly waxed court. It ain't...more
Jul 22, 2008 Jaime rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Anyone who wants a vacation
Recommended to Jaime by: Alisa, Julie/Spence
GREAT escape from reality! This book deals with PM (perception management) and how big business uses these firms to manipulate /create truth out of lies to benefit their bottom line. In this case, start a cold war to benefit an arms contractor. If you are a Jack Bauer fan or a Sidney Bristow fan then this book is for you. Nice short quick chapters makes you always want to read "just one more." I've never read anything quite as good as Lee Child and his Jack Reacher character but this one was VER...more
Baldacci always makes me stretch a little to suspend my disbelief, but when I do he takes me on quite an exciting and convoluted trip. This one involves a cast of quite a few somewhat questionable and nefarious characters, including his protagonist, A. Shaw.

A perception management firm (super-PR) is manipulating world opinion toward world war for their client, a major arms dealer. Shaw, who works for a transcendent secret multi-national policing agency, is inadvertently drawn into the conspirac...more
Nicholas Creel and Dick Pender are two men bent on bringing the Cold War back. Creel is a multi-multi-millionaire who thinks he can have whatever he wants and Pender, the Perception Manager, hired by Creel wants to give it to him.

A. Shaw, a man with no first name and a very unusual past has a different plan. Shaw, reluctantly, works for or maybe more correctly is owned by a multinational intelligence agency. He is a stone cold killer, with a heart that has been touched by an extremely intellige...more
I really enjoyed reading this book, but didn't give it 5 stars because too much of it was hard to believe (i.e. the main character's ability to get out of every death defying situation). However, the premise of perception management made me stop and think and that has tremendous value; and reading the book makes me look at news stories today a lot differently than before I read the book. While I've always felt the media only tells us what they want us to know, and only provides us with sound bit...more
Nicholas Creel is the CEO of Ares Corporation, a multi-national arms manufacturer and Richard Pender is Creel’s PM (perception manager). Pender’s job is to create “truth,” facts that a target populace will believe virtually unquestioned, and his current task is to make the world think that Russia is committing mass genocide within its borders. Creel’s reason for this perception management is two-fold: to bring Ares back into the black financially with increased arms sales and to neutralize the M...more
This was action packed, easy to read and to follow. Not alot of detail, but sometimes all the details can bog you down. I liked the premise because I think it is so much easier to believe a lie than taking the time to find out the truth. Because of the lie, the world is at the brink of another World War III. The characters were strong, but flawed so easy to relate. Looking foward to reading the rest of the series.
The Whole Truth by David Baldacci

I wasn't sure I was going to like this book when it began but the story grew on me. But only to the 3-star point. I really did not like Anna being killed off and I was very happy that Baldacci held off pushing Katy and Shaw together too much. Frank was a rat bastard and even his mild thawing in personality toward the end didn't change that perception for me. It would be interesting to hear if other readers changed their opinion of Frank by the end of the book. Sh...more
Baldacci's best book by far. It's freaky how real this one seems. It could very easily happen, I'm sure, in this post-9/11 world. JJ Abrams and Jonah Nolan may have been on to something after all...
Denise Hlavka
I hadn't read a David Baldacci book in years, then found this one (written in 2008), and I remembered right away what I like about this writer! The story is fast-paced, straight forward, but with enough twists and political and corporate reference/inuendo to "real-life" events, that it felt like it could be a news expose. I almost gave it three stars, (aferall, it's not exactly literature, but I couldn't put it down, and I think that is the highest compliment for any reader to give a story. Pure...more
John Pavlis
Another great Baldacci read. Shaw character is well developed.
Stephen Clynes
This book is a conspiracy and it is one of the better ones. It is an enjoyable tale and is one of David's better novels. David Baldacci can write some very good novels but the last novel of his I read, Stone Cold , left me rather disappointed and I voted it a FAIL with only 2 stars on Good Reads . Thankfully the whole truth see's David back to his quality writing form!

Our heroes are an intelligence agent called Shaw and a journalist called Katie James. Together Shaw and James spot some tiny erro...more
In The Whole Truth, Baldacci sets a scenario for us of how countries can go into a war by being led on from evidence that has been placed by some greedy individuals. These private parties are looking for a war just to benefit their personal wealth. Ron McLarty did a great job of narrating this action packed thriller.

Shaw is our hero in this novel and he works for an unnamed international secret agency that helps to enforce the laws in various countries. Let me verify that we aren't talking about...more
Tess Mertens-Johnson
Managed truth – this book may not be fiction. The media today reports the news as it is happening, but how accurate is it? How sanitized or inflated is it? Do we have all of the facts, or only the facts certain organizations want us to know? Is it Fahrenheit 451? Is Soylent Green People?
Shaw, the main character is working to repay his debt to a government official when he gets engaged to Anna Fischer. Shaw is ready to settle down and have a quiet life…until. Katie James comes into his life. She...more
I went through a total love/hate relationship with this book. At the beginning I totally loved it, then events began to unfold and I'd be mad about how things were going. Then, as the plot twisted and turned some more, I'd find that I really loved the book again. It went like this the whole time, yet I never felt like quitting. Not even close! It wasn't a book that I carried everywhere with me because I was dying to finish, but when I picked it up and was engaged in it I found it hard to turn of...more
William Bentrim
The Whole Truth by David Baldacci

Baldacci again has a new hero, a new ethos and another, never boring cliff hanging, throat grabbing thriller. This one is focused on Shaw, a loner, a fixer and a violent man.

Baldacci wields a rapier when he writes. You are never sure who is going to get cut and you often lament those who do. Baldacci crafts a character that you love and then destroys it. This is sometimes a bit frustrating for those of us of Polyanna leaning who hope for a happy ending. With Dav...more
Chad Sayban
“Dick, I need a war.”
“Well, as always, you’ve come to the right place, Mr. Creel.”
“It won’t be a typical conflict.”
“I never expect typical from you.”
“But you have to sell it. You have to make them believe, Dick.”
“I can make them believe anything.”

In the 21st century the only thing more powerful than information is disinformation. News travels so fast in the digital age that nobody has time to check the facts before it circles the globe many times and becomes ‘the truth’. It is within this dark n...more
Iulia Stana
There really should be a way to give half a star or something the like. I can't say that I didn't like it and neither can I truly say that it was ok.
The way I'm starting to view David Baldacci's novels is like an action movie without the movie. I want to relax, forget about other things and disconnect. I found out that reading these kind of novels works like that for me. No higher brain activity. In that way this book was ok. It served its purpose, did what I expected it to do and no more.
The s...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Power Play
  • The Apostle (Scot Harvath, #8)
  • Extreme Measures (Mitch Rapp, #11)
  • The Zero Game
  • Shadow Command (Patrick McLanahan, #14)
  • The Ghost War (John Wells, #2)
  • The Chairman (Christian Gillette, #1)
  • Guardian of Lies (Paul Madriani, #10)
  • The Associate
  • Word of Honor
  • The Marching Season (Michael Osbourne, #2)
David Baldacci made a big splash on the literary scene with the publication of his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996. A major motion picture adaptation followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 27 novels, all of which have been national and international bestsellers; several have been adapted for film and television. His novels have been translated in...more
More about David Baldacci...
Absolute Power The Camel Club (Camel Club, #1) Split Second (Sean King & Michelle Maxwell, #1) Last Man Standing The Innocent (Will Robie,#1)

Share This Book

“Anyone who's lived has lost somebody.” 7 likes
“It would actually constitute more than a miracle, he realised. It would take divine intervention plus luck, plus some unknown element of cosmic wizardry.” 3 likes
More quotes…